Two Middle East war veterans are raising funds for private charter flights into Afghanistan to evacuate refugees and other families from the country, describing President Biden’s operation as inadequate and flawed.
Tyler Merritt and James Miervaldis told “Fox News Primetime” on Friday that they were in contact with Afghans with “visas in hand” who had gone through the process of contacting the State Department and being “screened and cleared” to emigrate to the United States – but never heard back from embassy staff as to what federal evacuation flight to take and when and where to go.
“We started flying people out commercially the week before the collapse,” Miervaldis told host Jesse Watters. “We got 5 families out and had 50 others ready to fly out last week but the planes got canceled. We are ready to scale up to 500 families.”
The pair said they are unsure of what happens on September 1, after the Biden-imposed and Taliban-accepted deadline for U.S. withdrawal passes – noting that the Chinese and Russian governments will be the only ones with influence over the new Taliban leadership.
“This is crazy,” Miervaldis said of potentially relying on America’s rivals – and the Taliban – to keep Hamid Karzai International Airport open for evacuation flights.
“I still have a lot of friends over there in harm’s way: A lot from my previous unit,” Merritt added.
“We have been there for the last 2 decades. My unit… has been there since Day One. I had the ability to work with them to close down Iraq in 2011 and to watch… this situation continue to deteriorate and continue talk to our friends through Signal and other applications to see if they are OK and see if the interpreters are still okay. It’s atrocious; as we watch our commander-in-chief continue to rely on the Taliban for safe passage, to continue to provide that information of who our citizens left behind.”
Merritt predicted the U.S. or private organizations like theirs – No One Left Behind – will have to return to Afghanistan under Taliban rule because there is no way all Americans will be out by the arbitrary but hard date of August 31.
Miervaldis asked viewers to do a “buddy check” on any War on Terror veterans who they may not have heard from since Biden’s crisis began.
“There are 800,000 Operation Enduring Freedom U.S. veterans. If you know anybody who served in Afghanistan. Do a quick buddy check. A lot of people are hurting. We are very, very concerned about their mental health,” he said.